Friday, August 19, 2011

The Modfather: My Life With Paul Weller by David Lines (William Heinemann 2006)

Getting inside the Pavilion was like stepping into a furnace. The floor swam in warm beer and the air was thick with smoke. The noise from the chanting, baying crowd drowned out the support act - a skinhead poet who went by the name of Seething Wells. I could hardly believe it, I mean, putting on a poet to entertain The Jam Army? Then I got it. I got it right there and then what Paul was trying to do. He could have stuck anyone on as support and they wouldn't have survived the audience who were so desperate to see The Jam they would have even booed The Beatles off stage. Paul was also trying to make his audience see that by having someone as support come on and recite poetry, he was distancing himself from the 'Jam Army'. Seething Wells, however, was on fire. I don't mean he was on top form, I mean the man had been set alight. The record company were handing out album sleeves on the way in, and someone had set fire to one and sent it, flaming, spinning through the air, skimming the heads of the crowd like a fiery frisbee onto the stage where it caught the sleeve of his green bomber jacket and in precisely three seconds flat the thing went up like a bonfire. Seething was seriously seething and frantically tried to get his jacket off but it had started melting into him, a roadie ran on with a bucket of water and chucked it all over the poor fat poet and then Seething ran off - it was like a trip to the fucking circus - and then, from nowhere, John, Paul's dad, was on stage and a mighty, mighty cheer went up . . . 'For those of you sitting down at the back, please be upstanding for . . . The Jam! The place exploded.

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